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Welcome to the blog of Team Moonwalk, a finalist in the 2011 MoonBots Challenge!

This archival post contains links to our video posts, which you can view on YouTube. Be sure to click on the titles and check them out!

Moonwalker in a Martian Land: Phase I Video Essay

Our Phase One video essay, following our heroine Kiki in her quest to save the Moonwalker and a Mars colony in desperate need. Enter: the space cowboy.

Moonwalk Arms: Coming Along Slowly

A video blog about the various arm prototypes we've constructed and tested. While the majority of them don't seem to work, there are a few that we believe hold great potential...

Over the Moon: Moonwalk Outreach Video

Here we document the outreach activies that we've been performing since the start of the competition. Take a look at our approach

"Wait!" you may be asking. "Who are these complex, attractive, and beautifully voiced characters?" If you haven't seen our videos from last year, then be sure to do so! Please enjoy the riveting and occasionally tragic backstory of these characters.

Also, if our outreach video has you simply dying to play our games, then despair not! Our "Play Like a Lunatic!" games that featured prominently in our outreaches can be found here--and our scientific and educational game "Where on the Moon is the Moonwalker?" (a game for all ages, careers, species, geni, family, orders, classes, phyla, and kingdoms!) can be thoroughly enjoyed here!

Finally, we sent out our lunar fiction reading list "Read Like a Lunatic!" once more, and it's still as engaging as ever! 
You can find it here!

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This post is an handy reference post for all the STEM outreach we've done in 2011 Moonbots 2.0 season! Below that we've also included a list of the outreach that we've been performing since the end of last year's competition. Be sure to check both of them out!

Outreach for the stars!Collapse )
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Sadly, it’s time to say good-bye. Even though we’re calling it quits for now, we will always continue to do outreaches or outreach type- things and educate people about STEM. At the end of all things, we’d like to thank the Moonbots Program, Google, and the X-Prize Foundation for setting up this enjoyable event. All in all, we’ve grown as a whole and are closer to becoming cold hard experts in science who are actually warm.

Working on a team remains tough, especially as each of our personalities continue to grow, but it is fun nonetheless. Upon resolving problems about outreach, game design, videos, and every little aspect of the program and the robot design, we each have renewed respect for each other.

We’d also like to give a shout out to the rest of the crew out there, especially the duo of mothers who kept us on track when we were on the brink of insanity, and Vishal Kumar, who last year made a sensational appearance in the phase two documentary as “Igor” to the mad scientist (oh, my back!) and this year surprised fans everywhere by posing as the video-game addict with the killer dramatic rivulets-of-nervous-sweat-down-forehead line: “Nope.” Another thanks to Aneesh Kumar for staring as the Dad who wants to spend time with his son, but is cruelly shot down by the feared “Nope.” Tears were brought to the eyes of many as he fell bravely with dirt-crusted shovel in hand and bicycle helmet on head.

Thank you for following…OW!
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Oh yeah! See the robot. Feel the robot. Be the robot.Collapse )Our webcast took place on the 16th, which means that we are finished with our robot! While we're working on finishing up our outreach presentation and other material, let us show to you our final robot!

19 08 11 - Vivake's Blog 3
\]ivake’s Blog 3
                This year’s moonbots was a blast, but significantly more difficult than the last one. The field, though smaller, made us consider all courses of action and view things to avoid more seriously. Our robot had to be more diverse due to the tricky field, with several characteristics.  Testing designs and arms was tedious but necessary. Worst case scenarios had to be taken into consideration so that our robot had a strong, stable, varied base that could meet any obstacle and get over it (literally). The diversity required difficult structuring and frame. All in all, it was an arduous yet enjoyable experience. If it's problematic to make a robot to do small plastic tasks like this, then one can only imagine the grueling task of making & programming a real robot to be sent to the moon.
              When building the robot, we felt as though we were bringing something to life. A lot of hard work, but a rewarding end. During the actual webcast, hearts were thudding with nervousness. We were all mentally urging the robot on by thinking “work work work work work work work.” When the robot finished its course, a great sense of relief fell over everyone.
              The outreach project was definitely interesting. The best part was seeing kids interested in the robot and games, things we had worked hard to craft. We are always pleased when our work is appreciated by all ages. Despite this good feeling, a lot of the outreaches were Augean tasks. Controlling the kids was like trying to be everywhere at once, with everyone trying to get your attention. This usually ended in stretching and trying to grow your ears. Also, interviewing kids about the moon gave us an inside look at a point of view besides ours, leading to deeper thinking about the moon and all the sleepless nights and research that goes into it.
The best thing gained from this year was the experience. The things obtained in this project can be applied to all fields, not only science. For instance how to troubleshoot, making things stable (architects) and knowledge of geometric shapes, and using learned knowledge correctly and efficiently. These useful skills will help in life not only in scientific jobs but in everything.
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The past few weeks, we've been creating different strategies to pick up the helium-3 and water ice loops. So that you don't remain in the dark, we've prepared a snazzy video presentation of most of these designs.

Our prototypes and designs are slowly being narrowed down, and we have good reason to believe that our successful arms will be able to pull it off!
08 08 11 - reaching out
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Hello Admirers and Fans!

For the first part of the Outreach project, we took a robot to the Farmington Public Library and had people come in and drive it around the field (we decided to use last years’ stuff because we had a more thorough analysis of the layout of last year’s field than this years’). It was nice to see people interested in STEM and robots, especially the young kids. It was really interesting to see a 2-year-old kid driving a robot… as far-fetched as that sounds.
Read more for little children reading literature, driving robots, and making games!Collapse )
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Today we constructed a basket, designed to hold the loops after they are gathered by an arm.

Find out why our basket is the way it is.Collapse )
So, our pieces arrived, and once the instructions were posted, we got right to building the field. It was pretty fun racing to see who could make the most crater pieces.

Read more about Vivake"s first opinions of this year"s challenge.Collapse )
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Hello world! This is the blog of Team Moonwalk, a finalist in the 2011 MOONBOTS 2.0 Challenge! We extend a warm welcome to new participants, happily greet our old friends, and proudly salute those who never left.
After we received our field kit, our team rushed to complete the models and begin our brainstorming. Before the field blueprint was released, we started to plan our general strategy, especially when it came to obtaining the unusually shaped elements. Additionally, we've begun work on prototyping the basic components of our robot, such as the arms and the basic chassis.
We live in exciting times, and this is because we are making them exciting. More news will be forthcoming. In the meantime, good luck to every team participating this year, and we hope that everyone enjoys this challenge as much as we do!
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